Ahead of vote, Twitter says accounts removed over 'disinformation'

Twitter headquarters in San Francisco California.—AFP

Twitter headquarters in San Francisco California.—AFP

We removed a series of accounts for engaging in attempts to share disinformation in an automated fashion - a violation of our policies.

Twitter has confirmed the removal of thousands of accounts for not only discouraging people from voting in next week's USA elections, but also falsely appearing to originate from the Democratic Party.

"We took action on relevant accounts and activity on Twitter", a Twitter spokesperson told Reuters.

Yet the removals represent an early win for a fledgling effort by the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, or DCCC, a party group that supports Democrats running for the U.S. House of Representatives.

The accounts were taken down in late September and early October, Reuters reports.

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The Democrats are hoping that by flagging accounts that are spreading misinformation, that they will see more progress in social media's reaction speed.

Ahead of midterms, Twitter established communication channels for both major USA parties to report any suspicious activities but did not mention any complaints from Republicans.

Among the posts identified by the DCCC's system were tweets that specifically discouraged Democratic men from voting in the November 6 midterms, "by arguing that their ballots would drown out those cast by women", the report said. Others, for instance, reportedly urged male voters not vote as it would "drown out" the voices of women. The number is modest, considering that Twitter has previously deleted millions of accounts it determined were responsible for spreading misinformation in the 2016 US presidential election.

Twitter said it appeared the account network was run out of the United States, but did not provide details on how the accounts worked.

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